Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular used roofing materials because their cost up front is inexpensive and they are typically easy to install. They are mostly composed of composite material rather than wood, slate, metal plastic, or fibre cement. Asphalt shingles come in flat, rectangular shapes that are laid from the bottom of the roof towards the top with each line overlapping the joints of the other shingles below it.
There are two types of composition or asphalt shingles, organic or fiberglass. The difference in the two are their composition and technique of waterproofing the shingles. Organic shingles are made up of waste paper that has been saturated with asphalt to enforce waterproofing with adhesive salt and granules embedded on the top layer. Fiberglass shingles, on the other hand, are composed of glass fiber that has been coated in asphalt containing mineral fillers that make it waterproof. Fiberglass shingles are becoming more common because they offer fire protection and are more eco-friendly than organic asphalt shingles.
Affordable – The biggest advantage of asphalt shingles to most homeowners is their affordability. They are the least expensive shingle option and can typically last 12 to 17 years when properly installed.
Variety – Asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors, textures, and thicknesses. There are three main varieties of asphalt shingles. The most basic 3-tab shingles have a recognizable 3-tab pattern and cost the least amount. The architectural shingle mimics a natural looking wood or slate shingle with a 3-dimensional feel. The most expensive and stylish type of asphalt shingles are the premium style shingle. Asphalt shingles are available in an assortment of colors like blue, red, yellow, and green.
Easy Installation – Compared to other types of shingle installation, asphalt shingles are relatively simple to install. There are no special tools, skills, or structural elements needed and even skilled homeowners are able to install in a few days. Since asphalt shingles are more easily installed than other shingle options, the cost of installation is usually much cheaper as well.
Mold Treatment – A pro of asphalt shingles many do not think of is their ability to be easily treated for mold and mildew.
Recyclable – The process of removing roofing shingles to save for reuse into other products such as pavement is known as shingle recycling. The main purpose of shingle recycling is to ensure the valuable resources used to produce asphalt shingles are not put in a landfill. It is both eco-friendly and convenient to the homeowners when shingles can be recycled.
Weather – A big and sometimes costly disadvantage to asphalt shingles are their sensitivity to weather, hot or cold. When installed in freezing temperatures, asphalt shingles can be easily damaged before they are even on your roof. On the other hand, in extremely hot weather they can crack and loose much of their color after being installed on a house. Asphalt shingles are also very susceptible to uplift during strong wind conditions.
Maintenance – Asphalt shingles require a good deal of maintenance since they are not as durable or long lasting as other shingle types made of metal, cedar, slate or title. Maintenance and repairs of asphalt shingles are best performed prior to rain or snow where further damage could occur.
Not Environmentally Friendly – Since asphalt shingles are a petroleum based product they are not an eco-friendly roofing material. During manufacturing their production wastes energy and exacerbates green house gas emissions. If they are not recycled they will end up in landfills where they are un-disposable.
When considering asphalt shingles or any other type of shingle, EMA Construction’s qualified roofers are here to advise you on what will work best for your home’s style and needs.